Thursday, October 19, 2017

Addiction To Technology: Just The Way Designers Wanted It

Good Day World!

Here's a disturbing thought this morning; Americans are addicted to social media platforms and smartphones.

Addicted. That's a powerful word, but an accurate description of what's happened in America today.

Most of the tech insiders questioning today's attention economy/tech addiction are part of the last generation that can remember a world in which telephones were plugged into walls.

Nir Eyal, the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, has spent several years consulting for the tech industry, teaching techniques he developed by closely studying how the Silicon Valley giants operate.

"The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-on addictions," Eyal wrote.

“It’s the impulse to check a message notification. It’s the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later.”

None of this is an accident, he writes. It is all “just as their designers intended.”

What concerns me is there's no apparent way to reverse this dangerous trend.

People are so addicted - and their attention is so distracted - in many cases that they get ran over by cars, fall into manholes, or walk off piers.

Driving a vehicle has taken on a new challenge in the 21st century; avoiding drivers that talk and text on hand-held devices while driving.

I read that many of those youngish designers are coming up with apps to help them stay off social platforms - especially Facebook. It's that bad.

We have turned into a nation of zombies, helplessly addicted to fake news, "Likes" on Facebook, and instant images of ourselves doing stupid things.

It's too late. There's no signs these addictive trends will let up as long as we fail to embrace what's happened in America. 

Time for me to walk on  down the road... 

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